Derek Valencia, Filipino-American, Reports Racist Hate Mail About 'Filthy' 'Filipino Scum'

Photo courtesy of Facebook: Derek Valencia

The Huffington Post  |  By Anna Almendrala

A racist letter targeting the Filipino-American community went viral Monday after California resident Derek Valencia posted a picture of it on Facebook.

Valencia, who lives in American Canyon, Calif., posted a photo of the printed hate mail and asked, “Anyone else in American canyon get this letter in the mail?!?!?!?!!!!!!?”

The letter, which claims to be from the California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Barbering & Cosmetology, is addressed to
American Canyon resident Maria Aida Ignacio Brandes. The missive begins with talk about an expired cosmetology license and threatens to fine Brandes for allegedly providing unlicensed salon services.

The letter’s scope then broadens to target the entire Filipino-American community in the town, calling the population “filthy” and
“unwanted.” It also targets Brandes’ adult daughters for apparently having white spouses and mixed-race children. Disturbingly, the hate mail also details Brandes’ current home address.

From the letter:

In addition, the American Canyon Filipino community as filthy as it is. [Illegible] unwanted as it is…… doesn’t need to bring additional unwarranted/unlicensed practices which assists in bringing down the already downward spiraling property values in our area.

We are attempting to have our community a law abiding one, without having yet another gang of Filipino scum such as yourself and married daughters who have attempted to assimilate into this once clean non-Filipino dominated area in American Canyon (Napa Junction) which includes those of your female offspring who have aligned themselves with CAUCASION husbands to assist in ensuring their half-breed children have “straight noses” in order to be accepted in non-Filipino society.

After Valencia posted the photo on Facebook, he wrote an update about reporting the letter to the police. Authorities took the letter as evidence and apparently told Valencia that another person reported something similar.

“i [sic] think it was like a mass mail, but yea it’s still an issue to illustrate such hate to a specific race,” wrote Valencia on his Facebook wall. “At the end we are all still human!”

American Canyon Chief of Police Jean Donaldson described the letter as “unusual” in a phone interview with The Huffington Post.

“We really haven’t seen that here before,” said Donaldson. “It’s an unusual event.” The police department is currently investigating the letter to determine whether or not it violates penal codes about hate crimes.

Phil Yu, founder of the blog Angry Asian Man, first reported the Filipino hate mail on his site. In an email to HuffPost, Yu described the importance of sharing such news, no matter how disturbing.

“While some would like to think that we live in more enlightened times, this incident clearly illustrates that racist views are still alive and kicking,” wrote Yu. “Yes, this shit still happens. It’s important that our community doesn’t become complacent regarding these matters.”

Yu also commented on the fact that the letter was physically delivered. “In an age where anyone can leave an anonymous racist quick-hit comment on the internet, someone actually went out of their way to compose and physically mail this letter,” said Yu.
“That’s special delivery racism. Who does that?”

American Canyon is a city in Napa County, California. The small town, which has a population of 19,454, is 38.9 percent white, 32.9 percent Asian and 7.9 percent black, according to the 2010 census.

Photo courtesy of Facebook: Derek Valencia

4 Comments on this post.

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  • Sophia Ignacio-Prevatte
    9 January 2013 at 6:59 pm - Reply


    I am the daughter of Maria Aida, the subject of the letter. I am very disappointed and upset that Balitang America (which we follow daily) carried and aired this on your news without first doing some investigation / confirmation with my family. We just found out about this letter this afternoon when an American Canyon Police Officer came to my sister’s home. And as I’m sure you’ll understand, the news of it made us all very livid since we had no clue this letter and that it has gone viral on the internet. First off, whomever wrote this is not only hateful but also ignorant. And his accusation of my Mom’s licensing is unfounded, which if you did your investigation with the Board of Cosmetology would have confirmed to be untrue…a defamation of character and utter libel. The Board will tell you that my mother has never had any complaints lodge against her and is still a licensed cosmetologist.

    I have nothing against your station bringing forth the hate speech and possible hate crime against Filipinos but to put the names (and btw, Maria Lenny Ignacio is a completely different person and NOT my Mom) on the air as well as her license info is irresponsible. My mother and Maria Lenny is now suffering with their blood pressures going through the roof as relatives and friends who are seeing your news continue to call. They are all afraid along with my sister and her family, who’s adress was released on the internet on this letter. The attention on this has brought even more fear to my family as people continue to search it on the web.

    For the record, this letter is now being investigated by the American Canyon Police Department in hopes that they can find the culprit responsible for it. I am not ruling anyone out, including any race until someone is proven guilty. God teaches us not to judge and I believe that anyone can do anything so hateful if they allow themselves to. Unfortunately, it is what makes us human. I only ask that Balitang America refrain from further releasing my families’ names on the air. There is nothing wrong with your journalist stating that a Filipino resident of American Canyon received this hateful there? I implore you to please revise and help give a little peace to our family at this shocking times.

    Sophia Ignacio-Prevatte

  • Ram
    10 January 2013 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I agree… Irresponsible journalism… Adding insult to injury.

  • ed
    10 January 2013 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Im glad this was put on the Filipino news…and its not about the person that received the hate mail but its about the content of the HATE MAIL itself ….this has to be known for all people, especialy to the Filipino people to be aware that this type of stuff, specially now a days, should NOT Period !

  • ed
    10 January 2013 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Im glad this was put on the Filipino news…and its not about the person that received the hate mail but its about the content of the HATE MAIL itself ….this has to be known for all people, especialy to the Filipino people to be aware that this type of stuff, specially now a days, should NOT be tolerated. Period !